Pyrrhic victory


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

Pyrrhic victory

A victory that is not worth achieving because of the excessive toll it takes on the victor. Winning the lawsuit was a Pyrrhic victory, since it cost us everything we had.
See also: pyrrhic, victory

Pyrrhic victory

A victory that is offset by staggering losses, as in The campaign was so divisive that even though he won the election it was a Pyrrhic victory . This expression alludes to Kind Pyrrhus of Epirus, who defeated the Romans at Asculum in b.c. 279, but lost his best officers and many of his troops. Pyrrhus then said: "Another such victory and we are lost." In English the term was first recorded (used figuratively) in 1879.
See also: pyrrhic, victory

a Pyrrhic victory

If you describe a victory as a Pyrrhic victory, you mean that although someone has won or gained something, they have also lost something which was worth even more. If gun-control advocates achieve their goals by threats, rather than through properly enacted legislation, it will be a Pyrrhic victory. Note: This expression comes from the victory of King Pyrrhus over the Romans, in which much of King Pyrrhus's army was killed.
See also: pyrrhic, victory

Pyrrhic victory

a victory gained at too great a cost.
Pyrrhus was a king of Epirus, who defeated the Romans at Asculum in 279 bc , but in doing so sustained heavy losses and lost his finest troops.
See also: pyrrhic, victory

a ˌPyrrhic ˈvictory

a victory which is achieved at too high a price and therefore not worth having: It was a Pyrrhic victory. They won the strike but then most of them lost their jobs.This idiom refers to Pyrrhus, King of Epirus, who in 279BC defeated the Romans but lost all his best officers and men.
See also: pyrrhic, victory
References in periodicals archive ?
The second reason to call this a pyrrhic victory is because it will impact adversely on the domestic mechanisms in place to further reconciliation.
Blatter said: "The decision is very damaging for football and a Pyrrhic victory for those players and their agents, who toy with the idea of rescinding contracts before they have been fulfilled.
Yet if the Government finally resorts to banning private firework displays then what a pyrrhic victory the perpetrators will have achieved.
Lewis just hopes his credit win doesn't turn out to be a Pyrrhic victory.
For this reason it is both instructive and pleasurable to read the first two volumes under review, Robert Doughty's Pyrrhic Victory and Robert Foley's German Strategy and the Path to Verdun.
Pyrrhic Victory restores the French army to its legitimate position at the focus of World War I.
If a dispute gave rise to action by the AG's office, it was only to prosecute the sponsor--criminally or civilly--and often left consumers with a pyrrhic victory of seeing the sponsor punished but the underlying condition uncorrected.
Insofar as the Allies won the war, it was a Pyrrhic victory indeed.
But although the multiple managed to avoid major disruption over one of the busiest sporting weekends of the year, it was something of a Pyrrhic victory and the GMB's general secretary, Paul Kenny, was quick to hail the unions as the real winners in the long-running dispute over pay and collective bargaining rights.
After decades of proselytizing the hermeneutics of Foucault and Derrida, having achieved what has turned out to be a Pyrrhic victory (the end of art), the cultural elite now find themselves confronting an abyss that leaves the West spiritually defense less.
Melancon's letter seems to be an attempt to take credit on behalf of the AICPA for its recent actions that may have helped Andersen achieve its 9-0 Pyrrhic victory.
The point was to stage-manage American public opinion on the evolution controversy, and for that reason the Scopes trial was a Pyrrhic victory for the forces of biblical fundamentalism.
This Pyrrhic victory is yet another example of the erosion of our civil liberties in this country.
Win this battle and it will he a pyrrhic victory for your archdiocese and your legacy.
This essay presents and analyzes a case history of a software start-up company in which usability achieved a Pyrrhic victory, triumphing only in the short run because of social and political forces.